Just an half-hour’s drive from Calhoun will take locals on a trip to the past.
Chief Vann House Historic Site in Chatsworth is once again hosting its Candlelight Tours on Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11 from 5-8:30 p.m.
Guests attending the event will have the chance to tour the historic house by candlelight while listening to live music and enjoying authentic 19th century decorations.
The annual event celebrates the many Christmases hosted by Moravian missionaries who operated the western-style school (sponsored by the Vann family) for Cherokee kids from 1800 until 1835.
The site’s staff say it’s likely the missionaries were hosting the first large Christmas celebration within the Cherokee Nation. In the early 1800s, the Moravians at the Springplace Mission recorded that their Christmas service was one of the most well-attended services of the whole year. Traditional gifts were often paper scrolls with beautifully scripted bible verses inside a painted wreath border, and a small candle for each service attendee.
A traditional Moravian Christmas is often accompanied by a “Lovefeast” and “Singstunde” wherein the merriment was singing, praying, and the sharing of food and drink. To honor this practice, we will also be serving a traditional holiday snack, spiced apple cider and Moravian ginger cookies from our two-story log cabin, the Vann Kitchen/Workhouse exhibit.
For the safety of volunteers and other guests, guests able to do so are asked to wear masks covering the nose and mouth. This is a well-attended event (as many as 400 guests a night) and the Vann House has limited space inside making for a very close event. For guests who would like a little more elbow room but still want to enjoy the holiday season, from Dec. 9-24, guests can tour the Vann House adorned with fresh wreaths, hand collected greenery, nativity scenes, and many ornaments in between. The candles will only be lit during the actual Candlelight Tours event.
Winter hours at the Vann House are Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with guided tours hosted on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 4 p.m. This event will be held rain or snow.
Regular Admission is $6.50 — $5.50 plus tax, children five and under are free.